Members of the Airdrie Lioness Club are gearing up for a milestone celebration.
The club, which was formed in 1977, will be celebrating 40 years this September, and members couldn’t be happier.
The Lioness originally consisted of 29 local women, including the late Dolly Dunne, who was behind the founding of the club.
From its inception, members exhibited the spirit of volunteerism that still permeates the club and keeps members involved – some for decades.
“We exist to give back,” said Donelda Johnson, who has been a club member for nearly 10 years. “Everyone has the mentality of wanting to give back, to help other people.”
The impact of the volunteer efforts of Lioness members can be seen across Airdrie. In fact, the scope of what the club has accomplished may be surprising.
Some community facilities the members have sponsored include pool space at Airdrie’s Genesis Place; the birthday room at Iron Horse Park; the fireplace insert in the entrance of Bethany Care Centre; and two early literacy stations and the teen’s room at Airdrie Public Library.
Members have also contributed to school libraries, playgrounds, park benches, the Boys & Girls Club of Airdrie, Community Links and numerous initiatives at Airdrie Food Bank, such as the Snack Attack and breakfast programs. The club has also purchased new equipment for the food bank.
The club has even contributed to charities outside of Airdrie, such as the Alberta Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Cottage, through the Blankets 4 Kids Program.
One of its largest contributions to the community is the annual Lioness Hamper program, which gives out hundreds of Christmas hampers each year, containing everything from gifts to groceries, including all the fixings necessary for a holiday feast, to needy families.
“Our goal is to help wherever we can,” says Johnson, noting the Airdrie Lioness often start new programs to fill a void within the community.
The club is able to give back due to the hard work of its members, who raise money through many ways, such as raffles and casinos.
But the club also offers companionship as its members spend many hours together planning, taking part in fun activities, and volunteering.
For example, over the past 40 years, members have spent countless hours making thousands of pies to raise money for their programs. That team-building tradition continues today, and the pies are a hot item at the annual Airdrie Home & Lifestyle Show, where approximately 225 are sold each year.
“Being a member of the club is fun,” says vice-president Cindy Savitsky. “The club is great for women of all ages.”
Savitsky says the club is also a great place to meet other ladies, noting there is no minimum time commitment required to join the club.
She also wants to destroy the myth that Lioness members have to have a husband involved in the Lions Club.
“We are now completely independent from the Lions Club,” Savitsky says.
Thanks to the efforts of current members, who continue to spread the word about the fun and rewarding club, the future of the Lioness in Airdrie looks bright.
The club is open to women ages 18 and over who have the desire to give back to the community while spending time with like-minded members.
To be part of the next 40 years of the Airdrie Lioness Club, visit Facebook, or contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-660-1669.